Recent Match Report – Sri Lanka vs Australia 1st Test 2022

Recent Match Report - Sri Lanka vs Australia 1st Test 2022
Legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay will make his Test debut as Sri Lanka have picked three specialist spinners in their line-up after winning the toss and electing to bat in the opening Test of their two-match series with Australia in Galle.
Vandersay, 32, bowled impressively in the ODI series taking 3 for 49 and 2 for 40 in two of the matches in Colombo, including dismissing Australia Test batters Marnus Labuschagne twice and Cameron Green once. Vandersay has an excellent first-class record having taken 233 wickets at 26.92, including 16 five-wicket hauls. He plays alongside left-arm orthodox Lasith Embuldeniya and offspinner Ramesh Mendis to give Sri Lanka three specialist spinning options of three different varieties, as well as the part-time offspin of Dhananjaya de Silva.
Sri Lanka have opted for just one specialist quick, Asitha Fernando, with Kasun Rajitha named 12th man. Pathum Nissanka also returns at the top of the order after missing Sri Lanka’s last two Tests in Bangladesh. Oshada Fernando misses out.
Australia are unchanged from the side that won the last Test they played in Lahore in March. Travis Head was passed fit to play after overcoming a hamstring strain that kept him out of the final ODI in Colombo. Glenn Maxwell, who was on standby to play his first Test since 2017 and his first first-class game since 2019, was named 12th man. Mitchell Swepson and Nathan Lyon will partner as spin twins in a four-man attack alongside Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, with the allrounder Green and part-time spinners Labuschagne and Head available as other bowling options. Left-arm spinner Jon Holland was a chance to play in the lead-up but was not selected due to finger soreness. Starc returns after missing two T20Is and the entire ODI series due to a lacerated finger he suffered in the 1st T20I of the tour. He returns to Galle having taken 11 for 94 at the same venue in 2016.

Dimuth Karunaratne made the obvious decision to bat first after winning the toss despite the heavy skies above. There was overnight rain and the ground was fully covered as the teams arrived over an hour before the toss. But the clouds parted and the ground was cleared for warm-ups although the covers returned briefly as clouds threatened again 30 minutes prior to play starting.

In 21 previous Tests in Galle, teams have chosen to bat first 20 times after winning the toss and only three times have teams lost having won the toss and batted. Sri Lanka suffered two of those losses against England in Galle last year.

Sri Lanka: 1 Pathum Nissanka, 2 Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Angelo Mathews, 5 Dhananjaya de Silva, 6 Dinesh Chandimal, 7 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 8 Ramesh Mendis, 9 Lasith Embuldeniya, 10 Asitha Fernando, 11 Jeffrey Vandersay

Australia: 1 Usman Khawaja, 2 David Warner, 3 Marnus Labuschagne, 4 Steven Smith, 5 Travis Head, 6 Cameron Green, 7 Alex Carey (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Mitchell Swepson

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